Equipment ashore 8 - "Picture card of a place" RNH Bighi, Malta 1970s
Service: 1968 - 1996
Julia Massey joined the QARNNS (Queen Alexandra Royal Naval Nursing Service) in July 1968 and worked at Royal Naval Hospital Haslar, a number of medical facilities in Malta, RNH Plymouth, HMS Pembroke and RNH Hong Kong. In 1982, she was part of the nursing team embarked on SS Uganda for the Falklands War and during the Gulf War she was responsible for allocating nurses to RFA Argus. In 1994 she was involved with the Defence Cost Studies Report which led to the closure of the RN Hospitals, the establishment of tri-service training and the reduction of the QARNNS by nearly a half.
Here Julia recalls the RN hospital Bighi, Malta
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Extract Text (Duration 1.15)
The first place I went to was the Royal Naval Hospital Bighi, which was a wonderful hospital on Grand Harbour, opposite Valetta. It was very old, very elegant, lots of wide verandas built of stone, and it was an absolutely, you know, picture card of a place, the weather was wonderful. I think we had four small wards there, probably the average patients at any time was probably about 30, but it went up when we had the ships coming in. And during the year I spent there, we had a great, great many ships came; the carriers used to come in, lots of frigates, there were always ships coming in and out, and of course for the Royal Navy it was a nice place for them to come. The chaps on the ships enjoyed Malta, people there spoke English and there was a considerable naval presence.
1.18 mins - mp3 File
1.15 mins - mp3 File